Christchurch housing still a major issue for many

Access to housing is in a state of national crisis, but few from outside the Canterbury region know quite what it’s like to live in life-changing post-quake vulnerability.

Even before the quakes, rentals were often in poor a state of repair and let out at exorbitant prices, as dictated by the market. People scrambling to house themselves and their families did so without much security.

Five year later, Cantabrians still suffer. Many people still live in ‘temporary’ housing. The government still offers rhetoric in place of a genuine, long-term view of the needs of its citizens. Its policies still ignore the human right to adequate and affordable housing in New Zealand.

Hikoi for Homes is a coalition of groups calling for action and a fundamental change to how we view housing, and how it’s offered to those in need in Canterbury and to all New Zealanders. Its message - everyone deserves a home - is inarguable, and something we should be able to offer as a human right.

Helen Gatonyi, Hikoi for Homes Christchurch spokesperson and manager of the Tenants Protection Association (Christchurch), says, "Long-term security of tenure is paramount. It gives people in rental accommodation more of a sense of belonging and helps to encourage more participation in the communities they live in. We must all support policies that reflect the reality that more people will live in the rental sector in the future."

To highlight the array of issues surrounding the housing crisis in Canterbury, and broader, Hikoi for Homes is holding a series of marches in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland on 21 November.

Hikoi for Homes, 21 November - everyone deserves a home

Christchurch: 12pm, meet at 9 Buckleys Road (opposite Eastgate Shopping Centre)

Wellington: 1pm, meet at Cuba Mall (near Left Bank)

Auckland: 12pm, meet at Glen Innes Railway Station